In Brooklyn, the United States, federal prosecutors have charged former FIFA officials with bribes to vote for Russia and Qatar in the race to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup in an unprecedented measure, because it is the first time that they have issued powers Governmental judicial corruption charges related to these two events.
And if doubts have been held for many years about the conditions for granting the right to host the World Cups 2018 and 2022, it is the first time that the justice system in a country has confirmed that the votes that favored Russia and Qatar were marred by irregularities. In the open indictment issued yesterday by the Brooklyn prosecutor, John Donohue, the details of the corruption surrounding the 2010 vote in Zurich, which led to Russia being awarded the 2018 World Cup, and Qatar to host the 2022 edition were addressed.
The indictment revealed that the former FIFA member, Ricardo Teixeira, and the late Paraguayan official Nicholas Liuz, both of whom were members of the FIFA Executive Committee, which voted to grant the 2018 finals to Russia and 2022 to Qatar, had received bribes in exchange for voting for the Qatar file. In addition, former Confederate President Jacques Warner, who was Vice President of FIFA, was “promised and received” a bribe totaling $ 5 million to vote for Russia, while Guatemala's Rafael Salgiro was promised $ 1 million to vote, too, for Russia. . Warner was previously accused of selling his vote to South Africa in the 2010 World Cup vote, and in 2019 he was sentenced in absentia to pay $ 79 million in damages to CONCACAF.
For his part, Salgiro pleaded guilty in 2016 to several counts of corruption, and was suspended by Viva, while Warner, who faces charges from the American judiciary, is struggling to prevent his country from extraditing him to the United States.
Since the first spark of the FIFA FIFA scandal in 2015, American authorities have directed a total of 45 different people and sports companies to charge more than 90 counts of crime and pay or accept more than $ 200 million in bribes. Of the 45 accused, five people died, and 22 pleaded guilty, but only six of them were sentenced to final rulings.
Dozens of them are still in their countries where they face trial by local authorities, or are free to struggle to extradite them to the United States. The indictment was also directed against two former executives of the American "Fox" media network, regarding corruption, bank fraud and money laundering. Two former employees of the "Twenty First Century Fox" company: Hernan Lopez (49 years old) and Carlos Martinez (41 years old), along with Gerard Rumi (65 years), who worked with the Spanish media group Imagina, are charged with paying millions of dollars Bribes to officials of the South American Confederation (CONMEBOL), North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) Football Association. These accusations claim that bribes were paid for TV rights contracts for regional competitions and Cuba America for South America, the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Russia, and 2022 scheduled in Qatar.
This case is part of the corruption scandal that hit the game, and left the International Federation (FIFA) floundering one file after another.
And the scandals arose in May 2015, when Swiss police arrested a hotel in the luxury city of Zurich, seven officials of the International Federation, which was preparing for the re-election of Swiss President Joseph Blatter, at the request of an American after an investigation revealed the existence of rampant corruption extending for about 25 years.
The scandals led to the overthrow of big heads in FIFA, led by Blatter, who has held the presidency for 17 years, and elected Swiss Gianni Infantino as his successor in early 2016.
FBI: Bribes are established football practices
"Exploitation and bribery in international football have been well-established practices that have been known for decades," added William Sweeney Jr., the assistant director in charge of the New York field office of the FBI, adding: "For many years, he spoiled The defendants and the conspirators, international football governance and business, with bribes and kickbacks, participated in fraudulent criminal schemes, which caused great harm to football sports.
He revealed: "Their plans included the use of fake companies, fake consulting contracts, and other ways to conceal bribes."
Major scandals marred the voting process at the 2010 FIFA ceremony.
Charges of corruption have been brought against 45 former FIFA officials today.